Wild Eats: Ramps

Ramps are a spring-time delicacy that, if you’re lucky, you might have in your own backyard. You can find these wild leeks near rivers and streams from South Carolina to Canada, usually around the same time that you’re hunting for morels.

Ramps have scallion-like bulbs with gorgeous, broad leaves. What sets ramps apart from their domesticated cousin is that both the bulb and leaves are edible! You use the bulbs like you would green onions, and treat the leaves like spinach Both are extraordinarily delicious, infusing dishes with a pungent and earthy flavor that’s part onion, part garlic.

If foraging isn’t your thing, you can sometimes find ramps at spring farmers markets. Or you can buy them online at Earthy Delights!

Although I haven’t found any ramps on my new property here in Illinois, I’ve been buying weekly batches from a local farm since the end of March. Here are some of my favorite recipes that I’ve tried so far:

Image courtesy of h-bomb via a Creative Commons license.

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About the Author

I'm an ecologist turned journalist turned farmer-in-training. I'm currently working on an organic farm and creamery in Illinois. Follow me on twitter (http://twitter.com/rachelshulman), friend me on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=3105709), or follow me on StumbleUpon (http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/RachelShulman/).